Back-to-College Tips for Students for a Successful Semester, both Academically and Financially

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September 17, 2014

Summer is over; it’s time to get back to college and kick-start fall semester. Where returning to college after a long summer break is exciting for some, for others it is the beginning of a losing financial battle all over again. This is because the cost of colleges is escalating and student debt levels are also at all time highs. Simply put, college has become an expensive endeavor. It’s difficult enough balancing a class schedule and striving for academic success; the thought of balancing college related financial expenses on the other hand, can strike fear into the hearts of even the most studious.

From textbooks and food to transport, supplies, a place to live, a PC for assignments and research and entertainment on the weekends- everything costs money. Due to the high education costs and ever-increasing debt, many students drop out, skip semesters or work part-time.

According to a study, less than a quarter of part-time students complete a degree than those who are full-time students. Unfortunately, this trend is even more pronounced among low income and minority students.

So, this brings us down to the real question- How to have a successful semester both academically and financially? This may be a million dollar question, but a read through this post will unlock the answer to this question and cost you nothing. Read on to find out how…

Back-to-College Tips for College Students

1.     Seek New, Alternate and Flexible Programs to Finance Your Education

First things first- you should know that today there are many new alternate and flexible financing plans available for college students. This means you don’t have to rely on traditional high interest based student loans to pay for college. Today students have numerous options and programs to finance their education. These include programs like need-based scholarships, laptop scholarships and year end interest payment education financing programs. By availing these programs, you can pursue your advanced degree without any financial constraints or under excessive debt.

2.     Buy Textbooks from Used Bookstores

College books can be very expensive. But on the other hand, you can’t do without books. To have a successful semester academically you need to have access to all the important books but this can override your financials. To achieve both, the best way is to buy textbooks from used bookstores. The prices are heavily discounted and book conditions are good too. You can also borrow books from seniors for the semester and return them back once the semester is over.

3.     Public Transport Is Good

Instead of driving to college and spending money on gas, parking passes and tickets, consider public transport. Take a bus or subway system or carpool with friends.  You’ll experience significant savings.

4.     Avoid Swiping Your Credit Card for Everything

To pay your college fee or make loan repayments for the semester, you need to make sure you are not burdened by debt and are financially strong. To ensure this, you need to change your habits. If you are an impulsive buyer and love swiping your student credit card for everything you love in a store, then you need to stop. You can save big and improve your financial position if you stop buying things impulsively.

5.     Plan Your Financials

Make a monthly budget, divide your spending in categories and set limits on the amount you spend on each. This will prevent you from going overboard.

6.     Strike a Balance between Work and Studies

You need to get organized. Make sure that you have enough time to study, do your assignments and work on projects. Sometimes in the quest for making money for college fees, students overlook their studies. So, learn to strike a balance between work and studies.